Thanks to Terri Whitman for use of Danno, Duke & Steve!
The sun had just managed to get its beams over the edge of the window and they now shone brilliantly on the edge of the dinette counter. Dan Williams blew on his hot coffee and glanced at the time. 6:15 AM. Another minute or two to finish scanning the headlines and the morning calm would end. Never in his wildest dreams would he have pictured himself anticipating domestic life. He'd always been the proverbial rolling stone, quick to try the new, take the dare, first in line to try a hair-raising stunt. Those days were over, gone, most likely forever and he was surprised that he did not mind a bit. He rose from his breakfast and made his way towards the bedroom. A tattered, stuffed, black and white panda bear stared balefully towards the ceiling in the front room. He stepped over it and deftly avoided a matchbox car with his bare feet. Such things had become common place in his ex-bachelor pad, just like the spilled Kool-Aid on the white tile and the toothpaste smeared on the bathroom mirror. He found himself counting the days until the lease was up for the renters at the beach cottage and he could move back in there to raise Lonnie with the sand and surf as he had been. Eighty-seven days and counting.
He opened the blinds in the bedroom and the sun lit up the small lump curled up on the large double bed. Danny pulled back the blanket and revealed the small ball of blue pajamas and black, wavy hair. "Hey, Lonnie, get up lazy bones."
He curled up even tighter and squeezed his eyes tight shut. "Too early."
"Almost too late. Come on, old man, we've got to get going. Miss Marsh will wonder where you are."The three-year-old rolled over and stretched out his small frame across the bed. "Wanna stay home."
Danny lunged in and tickled him under the arms and Lonnie exploded into a round of giggles. Moments later, Lonnie was tossed playfully into the air and caught in strong, careful arms. "Got you awake now!" Danny proclaimed.
"No." He went limp on his father's shoulder. Seconds later, he was giggling and wiggling again. "Can we see Santa today?"
Danny put him down and started to route through the dresser for clean clothes. Unsuccessful, he picked up yesterday's jeans, examined them, and decided they would do. He pulled out a Superman shirt. "We can go if you are good for Miss Marsh."
"Superman is sissy," Lonnie announced, and picked up the stained Spiderman shirt. "This one. Miss Marsh is dumb."
Danny cocked an eyebrow. "Spiderman needs a bath. How about Grover?" He pulled out the blue shirt. "What's wrong with Miss Marsh?"
He wrinkled up his nose. "She makes me color."
"I hate coloring. I wanna shoot bad guys!" He made his finger into a play gun and ran, firing, from the room.
Danny tossed the clothing onto the bed with a sigh. Miss Marsh did not approve of most of Lonnie's game ideas. They usually involved knocking down, cuffing, and reading the rights to boys twice Lonnie's size. To Danny it was funny and he even thought it was good that Lonnie did not let his small stature keep him from taking on the big guys. Miss Marsh saw no humor in it at all. The day the class discussed recent movies they'd seen, many of the little tykes excitedly described Muppets Take Manhattan. Lonnie gave an in depth description of Terminator. Miss Marsh sent home a note and a pamphlet on molding children's minds.
I have never been so happy. The last year has been the best of my life with the promise of many more to come. I don't even want to remember life before Lonnie. It is almost impossible to recall the feelings that I had that nearly drove me to suicide. And if Lonnie's presence has made my assignments in Five-0 the less than thrilling kind, that is just fine by me also. I would sacrifice anything before I'd lose my son. Reflection aside, Danny followed Lonnie out into the front room. "Come on, Lonnie, time to get dressed."
He popped up from behind the chair. "Play checkers."
"Get dressed." He snagged the child by the neck and scooped him up into his arms again.
Lonnie kicked his feet and laughed with glee. "Miss Marsh is a bambooze!"
He dropped Lonnie onto the bed and the boy bounced happily on the mattress. Danny scooped up the clothing. "Time to get dressed."
Lonnie leaped off the bed firing his finger gun again and raced back into the front room. Danny sighed. I'm going to be late for work again.
The small, white BMW pulled into the coveted vice-president's space in the parking lot of the Bank of Hawaii satellite office in Pacific Palisades. Nancy Weathers flipped off the all news radio station. She paused to inspect her image in the rear view mirror, carefully pursing her lips once and tucking in one stray blonde hair before cutting off the air conditioner and silencing the engine.
7:45 AM. She stepped from the small car into the warm, tropical sunshine and locked the vehicle behind her. Her heels made a rhythmic tacking sound as she marched determinedly towards the bank, already rehearsing in her mind the issues of the day. She did not notice the breeze gently rocking the hibiscus. As she unlocked the door to enter, she did spot a smear of dust on the glass the window cleaner had missed.
She enjoyed arriving before everyone else. The short fifteen minutes helped her gather her thoughts and be ready for anything they might throw at her. With Yates, the bank president, away on vacation in Europe it was all in her hands. She was savoring the moment of power. If the Board noticed how much she could accomplish while Yates was off playing his games -- well she wouldn't mind becoming the first woman bank president in the Islands.
"Good morning, Ma'am," the security guard said, tipping his hat. "Happy holidays."
"Thank you, Smith, same to you," she replied formally. Yes, it is one week to Christmas. Everyone wants money right now. They tap their savings, max out their credit cards, take out ghastly loans. My job thrives on people spending money they don't have. Happy holidays most certainly.
At 8:10 AM, the back door opened and Kiko Yamaha punched in. "Good morning, Ms. Weathers," she called joyfully.
"Good morning Kiko," Nancy responded, not looking up at the young teller as Nancy looked over the notes she had left herself on the desk the day before.
By 8:15 the three officers and four other tellers had arrived and were loudly setting about their business. Nancy did not socialize with them, but was aware from her office who was functioning to his or her fullest and who wasted time. Greg Dudley was loudly discussing a football game from last night although it seemed no one was listening. Randi and Alice were comparing prices on Star Wars toys for Christmas gifts for their children. Al was already on the phone researching a customer's loan application for a home improvement. Kiko and Frank were counting their cash drawers. Randi walked back into the staff room and prepared the morning's first pot of coffee while Vince tried to talk her into a date.
Just minutes later, Vince came into Nancy's office, the morning's faxes in hand. "Morning, Ms. Weathers," he commented cordially.
She took the slippery sheets without looking up. "Vince, you are married. If you want to remain employed here, leave the single employees alone."
His ears flushed red and he quickly left.
Nancy glanced at the first fax. It was regarding a stock portfolio of Yates. She put it aside. As she did, the second fax caught her attention. There was a reproduction of a man's face. A rather handsome, thirtyish man. She rarely had much interest in men, but if she was going to seek one out -- well, he was the best looking thing she'd seen in a long time.
In the department of Five-0, Steve McGarrett handled the same picture Weathers had just seen. His was not a fax, but a glossy 8x10. "The FBI trailed him to Oahu yesterday," he explained to the collected team. "He gave the agent the slip leaving the airport. I believe most of you know Agent Mark Lawson."
Steve knew Lawson from the Caputo incident four years before. It had been a horrible time that had seen the murders of four Five-0 officers and Danny's fiancée. Eugene and Anthony Caputo were eventually tried and convicted for ten counts of murder, nine counts of attempted murder, and seven counts of kidnapping. The odd case had even placed the now deceased Tony Alika and McGarrett on the same side. Lawson had been there, and Steve had been pleased at the young FBI agent's aggressive professionalism.
Mark Lawson now stood before Five-0 four years older, having lost some of the young look on his features, but sharper than ever. He made sure each Five-0 officer received a copy of the photo. "Justin Kirkwood, also known as The Doc. Age thirty-two. He taught himself something about anatomy in the library of a prison early on. He has just about perfected injury inflicted by a gun. He usually carries several different caliber weapons. He'll choose his weapon, shoot his mark, and make that slug do exactly what he wants and inflict just the damage he wishes. He held up four banks on the mainland in the last six months."
"Awful good lookin' dude for a bank robber," Gary commented. "Looks like a movie star even in a mug shot."
"So who says bank robbers gotta be ugly?" Kono kidded back.
Lawson agreed. "Well, he isn't just another pretty face. He's dangerous and calculating. He's managed to use his good looks to throw bank tellers off guard, then either cleans out the bank and is gone, or -- when trapped -- always takes hostages and nearly always gets somebody killed. He broke out of San Quentin nearly a year ago and has worked his way across the western United States ever since."
Kono gave a low whistle. "Breaking out of San Quentin is no small accomplishment."
"As of late he's been traveling with these two." He showed two more mug shots. "Mike Canfield and Sam Fulton, but he may have left them behind on the mainland. If he did, he'll be looking for new help here since he never acts alone."
"What's our responsibility in this?" Danny asked.
"The Bureau is heading up the search and, hopefully, the capture of Kirkwood. We'd like Five-0's help in alerting the banks. Every bank on Oahu has received a fax of Kirkwood this morning, but I want to be certain they have looked at it." Lawson shrugged. "It's Christmas time. Everyone is in a hurry."
"Any idea about why he chose to come here now?" Steve asked.
"I haven't determined that there is anything unusual going through any bank here. It is possible Kirkwood heard some scuttlebutt in San Quentin, but we can't be sure of anything."
"He is taking a big risk coming here, certainly he's aware of that," McGarrett commented. "Hawaii is harder to get out of than any other state."
Lawson nodded. "Let's hope it's impossible."
Nancy glanced at her watch: 8:57. She could hear Smith's keys jangling as he headed towards the front door. Without question, there was already a collection of people waiting to enter. Randi had just slipped into the drive-through position behind the tellers' stations. Nancy glanced at the warning poster again and moved it off to the corner of her desk. I'll show this to them later. The phone rang. "Weathers," she identified her self. "Oh, good morning, Mr. Yates...." She gave the call her attention.
At the front door, Smith opened the lock and three customers entered. One looked irritated -- she wanted to get to the mall. The other two seemed less concerned. One of them was a strikingly good-looking young man. Smith grinned; wishing his twenty-year-old grand daughter could get a look at the guy.
Justin Kirkwood was aware the guard had given him a second look, but equally aware he'd not been suspicious. He stood quietly, second in line. Sam Fulton stood disinterestedly behind him.
Mike Canfield entered the bank wearing jeans and a work shirt. He stopped by the guard and yawned once. "Morning," he said to Smith.
"Good day to you," Smith replied with a nod.
"Weather is too nice. I had a hard time getting started this morning," Mike said, stretching slowly.
The woman at the counter finished her business and headed out the door. Justin moved to Kiko's window.
"May I help you?" Kiko asked, flushing slightly.
He gave a genuine smile. "I hope so. I'm visiting in the Islands for the holidays -- I need to cash a Traveler's Cheque."
"Oh, no problem," she hurried to assure him. "You just need to have proper identification."
Nancy stepped from her office on her way to the first cup of coffee. She was passing the teller windows when she saw Kirkwood. She said nothing, just kept moving, knowing there was a panic button in the coffee room.
Kirkwood, aware of all that went on around him, saw her coming and saw the unmistakable expression of recognition on her face. "Hold it!" He shouted. "You! Stop where you are!" He drew a .32 pistol and aimed it towards Nancy.
Kiko gasped in surprise and jumped in fear.
Smith turned his attention from Mike and was drawing his weapon, headed towards Kirkwood. There was a muffled sound of a silenced gun and Smith collapsed to the floor. Mike tucked his .22 away, quickly snatched up the keys and locked the door.
Sam had pulled his gun as well and all three men quickly moved the tellers away from the desk.
"I want you to give these men all the money from your cash drawers," Kirkwood instructed Kiko and Frank. "Mike," he motioned his partner, "get the drive-through girl."
"What about Smith?" Alice ventured to say.
"Everyone do exactly what I say and no one joins him," Justin answered. "Who's Yates?" he asked, having noted the name outside.
"He's away," Greg offered.
"Who's in charge?" Kirkwood demanded.
Silence. The employees dared not betray Nancy with even a glance.
Kirkwood did not like things drawn out. He knew someone might have tripped a silent alarm. Even if they hadn't, a customer trying to get in would see all. "Don't screw with me here! Who's the vice-president?!"
There was no response. Sam pointed his gun at Greg and shot him. The sound was explosive -- he'd had no silencer.
There were gasps of fear and shock. Randi started to whimper as Sam leveled the gun at her.
Nancy spoke up. "I'm the vice president. What do you want?"
Kirkwood gave her a long gaze. "You got that man killed just now. Mess around anymore and some more of these nice folks will die. Is that clear? I want you to unlock the safety deposit boxes."
"The master key is in my office," she said stiffly.
He studied her, decided she was truthful. "Mike, go with her."
Danny walked away from the Fidelity Bank branch office in Pearl City and got into his car. The bank officers took him seriously enough, but seemed to have an attitude of it-can't-happen-here. Everyone has other things on their minds. Me, too. I need to finish shopping for Lonnie. At least three-year-olds aren't too hard to buy for. This is just our second Christmas, I'd like to establish some kind of tradition, but how do I do that? Aunt Clara would have known. She always saw to if my childhood Christmases were like fairytales -- except for the one when I was seven. He pushed away the thought that wandered towards an angry moment of his past. A ball glove. I should buy Lonnie a baseball glove. I hope I can get off early today and get him to Santa. Before Lonnie, long hours, weekend stakeouts, even careless risks had been a part of every day business. Now everything was weighed against the needs of a thirty-pound child. It affected his responses and the assignments Steve gave him.
He pulled over to the curb and picked up Duke who'd paid a visit to the northern branch of the First National Bank. "I am getting the impression that banks don't really want to hear this just before Christmas," Duke kidded.
"Maybe that makes it the best time to hit 'em. They're too busy and well stocked with cash," Danny remarked.
Duke nodded. "We've got the Pacific Palisades next on the list."
"Well, the drive won't be bad," Danny commented as they pulled onto the highway. "Your family ready for Christmas?"
He grinned. "My daughter and her family are coming for the day. Mary can't wait to get her hands on that little grandbaby."
Danny chuckled. "Grandpa Duke. I still can't picture you as a grandfather."
"Great time," Duke assured him. "All the fun and none of the responsibility. Sam is home from college and brought a mainland girl with him. She's not bad looking. You and Lonnie have plans for Christmas?"
"I've got to buy a ball glove."
"He's only three," Duke said with a laugh.
"So? He likes baseball," Danny defended his choice.
"He likes checkers," Duke corrected.
"That's Steve's fault. And I think he bought him a new set already," Danny added.
"It's good to see you like this, Danny," Duke said in a more fatherly tone. "Lonnie is good for you. I don't remember seeing you this happy since---" he searched his memory, "---I guess forever."
"I really am happy," Danny replied. "It's a lot of work and all, but I'm really happy about it all. Does that seem crazy?"
"Not at all. When I think of my kids and their kids, Mary, and our life, well if I died today I wouldn't regret a thing."
They turned into the parking lot of Bank of Hawaii and became instantly aware something might not be right. There were two women standing outside the doors trying to peer inside.
Duke and Danny got out of the car and, as they approached, one woman turned to them. "The bank should have opened a half hour ago. Nobody's there! The drive-through isn't even open! How can we go shopping? They've no right to keep our money!"
Ignoring her whining, they both produced badges and the women backed away immediately. Duke tugged on the door, having already noted the hours posted. It was locked. He looked inside and noticed the mark on the floor. "Danny!" He drew his gun.
Danny had pulled his snub-nosed .38 and came closer.
"There's blood on the floor in there," Duke announced. "They must moved back into the vault area." He herded the two women away from the door back towards the parking lot.
Danny had already dashed back to the car and yanked open the door. He snatched up the radio. "Williams to Central. Patch me through to McGarrett."
Steve's phone rang and he picked it up on the first ring. "McGarrett."
"Steve, we've stumbled onto something going down at Bank of Hawaii in Pacific Palisades. The door's locked; there's blood on the floor. We can't see anyone moving around, but Duke thinks they are inside. It doesn't look like anyone had a chance to trip the silent alarm."
"Stay put, Danno. Do not negotiate until we get there." Steve turned to Ginny. "Get Lawson on the phone."
Mike and Sam hauled Greg's body over and dumped it next to Smith's near the doorway to the vault.
"Everyone get against that wall," Justin ordered quietly to the six employees. They all lined up along the wall facing the large barred cage that housed three rows floor to ceiling of safety deposit boxes. Justin motioned to the bodies. "Now those men were your co-workers, maybe your buddies. They are still doing you a service if they remind you to cooperate with me. I don't want any trouble out of any of you. Stop that damned sniffling," he snapped at Alice, who covered her face with her hand. He motioned towards the locked barred door. "You have the master, Ms. Weathers."
She nodded without a word and stepped forward.
He motioned her to unlock the door. Her look was one of hostility, but she did as he asked. He gave her a smile. "Thank you, kindly," he said.
She sneered. How could I possibly have thought this guy was good looking? I feel like scratching out those beautiful baby-blue eyes of his. The door swung back as she unlocked it.
He brushed a hand across her blonde hair. "Shall we go exploring?"
"How long is this gonna take?" Sam asked.
"The real bucks, my friends, are not just in the simple cash. Securities, stocks, gems," Justin replied. "It is worth the time. Don't worry I have a plan for getting us out of here."
Mike called from where he'd been watching the front from the hallway. "There's two guys with guns out there! My bet is they are cops."
Justin gave a confident smile. "Just two?" He looked pleased with the events. He gave a broad smile in Nancy's direction. "So, you didn't have time to get to the panic button -- very good."
She did not respond right away, just frowned. She finally gave an icy comment. "What makes you so sure?"
He laughed. "Only two cops? Hell, by now I should be knee deep in feds. We're gonna buy ourselves lots of time, boys."
If Mike was confused, Sam seemed to understand. "Good set up here, Doc. Just need the right kind of bodies."
"Yeah." Justin glanced at the collection of hostages. "You, you, you, and -- you..." he began to single them out.
Danny and Duke felt useless as they stood out in the hot parking lot waiting for help to arrive. One of the two women from outside the bank still stood at the far end of the lot in the shade. The other had gone in search of an ATM machine. Only two or three minutes had passed but, but it seemed like a lifetime.
"Danny." Duke pointed towards the bank. "Someone's coming to the door."
As he spoke, the front door opened and a woman came out waving a white handkerchief, running, and crying in fear. Duke ran towards her, covering her with his own body and ushering her back to the car. Her words came out in hysterical sentences. "Three men.....guns....they shot the guard.....oh.....they shot Greg.....they're dead. My God, we've got to do something....." She was shaking and near fainting.
They sat her down on the front seat of Danny's car and attempted to calm her a bit. "Tell us anything you can," Duke encouraged.
"The paper," she stammered, holding up a folded slip of paper. "They wrote instructions."
Danny unfolded it. "They say they have six hostages and want to negotiate for their safety. They're willing to trade three hostages for two negotiators."
"You must go," she whimpered. "Please!"
Danny sighed and commented quietly to Duke. "They seem to want us in there."
"Steve said to wait," Duke reminded him.
He nodded. "We're not going anywhere until the FBI gets here. They can choose the negotiators."
Alice gasped. "But you must!"
"Why?" Duke asked.
"Why, if you don't, he'll kill them. All three of them."
"His note doesn't say that," Danny remarked. Who says that there are rules here anyway? Do bank robbers always have to write out their intentions? Probably not. He did not want to enter that bank. His instructions from Steve were clear. It was risky. Too risky. This guy seemed to kill for no reason.
"Please!" Alice begged. "He told me that if you didn't come right away, he'd line them up at the door and shoot them one by one -- all three!"
"Danny," Duke whispered, pointing towards the large picture window of the bank where three people could be seen standing side by side.
Inside, Frank, Randi, and Al stood, sweating and terrified. Justin and Mike stood behind, using them as shields from the eyes and aims of the police. Safety was so close, yet so far.
"They goin' for it?" Mike asked.
"Thinking about it," Justin replied. He could see Danny out in the parking lot lean into the car and pick up the radio. "Na," Justin remarked, "we don't want that now." He fired a hole through the glass that dinged off the windshield near Alice's head.
Danny dropped the radio transmitter, still inactivated. "Maybe not," he uttered. He and Duke exchanged glances. "Any ideas?" He glanced at the whimpering Alice. "Other officers will be here in just a moment. As soon as we're inside, use this radio and tell the dispatcher what is happening and where we are. You got that?"
She nodded through her tears.
Duke let out a slow breath as they started up the sidewalk towards the bank, hands raised. "Ever done this before?"
"Nope. Have you?"
After taking several strides, they were certain they were clearly visible. They could see the frightened faces of the three bank employees watching them. Danny and Duke slowly reached inside their jackets, took out their guns and laid them on the sidewalk.
"Send out your hostages!" Duke called.
"All the guns," a voice from inside ordered.
Danny unstrapped the small pistol he kept in the ankle holster.
They moved a few steps nearer.
When they were less than four feet from the door, it opened and the three hostages stepped out into the sunlight. They hurried for the parking lot, issuing monosyllabic words of thanks as they rushed past.
"Inside," the voice instructed. "I still have three more."
Just as Danny and Duke stepped inside the bank, they could hear burning of rubber as a car spun into the parking lot.
The black Lincoln slammed to a halt, followed by four squad cars, sirens screaming, and three plain FBI vehicles. McGarrett jumped from his car, as Lawson and his partner, Ted Scates, exited theirs. Alice ran towards them gesturing and pointed. "They're inside! He made them go inside!"
Steve looked solemnly at the guns lying in a pile on the pavement.
end Part 1
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